Clean. Open. Friendly. Those are the first reactions as you drive up, early park and walk into the RaceTrac mega convenience store on Martha Berry at the Armuchee Connector.
The metro-based retailer’s first dip into Floyd County — said to represent a $7 million investment from property to construction — is a beauty, with a brick exterior, very open interior for easy navigation from coolers to fountains to food displays and the register — and clerks basically falling over you ready to assist with whatever need. A dining area along the Armuchee Connector side of the building was filled with some builders and other locals, coffee cups in hand. The store, at more than 5,000 square feet, is designed to be more than the average stop-and-go that was the mantra of the early convenience stores. Even prices appear competitive inside and out. The one indicator we’ve been watching: gas prices. Tuesday morning, a gallon of unleaded was selling for $2.70 a gallon (rounded off) vs. $2.63 at the East Rome Walmart at the other end of town.
Across the street, the relatively new Goo-Goo Express car wash — itself a $5 million investment — was running with a steady stream of vehicles just after 9 a.m.
And down the road, work continued on the DiPrima’s Shoes improvement, representing several hundred thousands of dollars of new growth. Coupled with the expansion of the nearby seniors center, this corner of Armuchee is witnessing $20 million in new development. That’s anything but a “depressed” economic zone as outlined in the recent Tax Allocation District hearing for the nearby mall and surrounding acres.
RaceTrac, Goo-Goo and DiPrima all represent private investment.